Kroger, the largest supermarket company in the United States, has moved into Florida. Soon it will open in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, too.

But you won’t see a single store.

Kroger is doubling down on its effort to win over shoppers in Florida — and it’s using robots to help. Instead, the grocery store operator is relying on a giant warehouse of robots that help retrieve such products as bananas, milk and meat, and a fleet of supply drivers that drop off online grocery orders at folks’ doorways.

Up until 1916, nobody imagined things like checkout stands, individual item price marking, or shopping carts.

The way Americans buy their groceries has changed radically over the generations and Kroger takes advantage of that change in the best possible way.

And here comes Covid – drastically change everything, with lockdowns and quarantines, brick-and-mortar grocery stores started to go the way of the buggy whip.

“Kroger wants to attract tens of thousands of new customers,” without opening a single storefront store in the entire state of Florida.

All they need is a giant “shed” warehouse staffed by robots. We’ve suddenly regressed back to the pre-twentieth century mercantile model.

Instead of driving your wagon to the store, you tap out your purchase order on your phone. Instead of a human grocer who makes snide remarks about the things you purchase, robots mindlessly wander around and pull the order per instructions without even thinking about what they’re doing.

They also don’t notice things like that big bruise on the tomato. The grocer expects the consumer to overlook things like that in the name of progress.

Kroger officials promise “a giant warehouse of robots that help retrieve such products as bananas, milk, and meat.”

Kroger

Read more of this report from TrendingRightWing:

The robot workers will be getting lots of exercises as they crawl around an automated warehouse “big enough to fit nearly eight football fields.” Those don’t come cheap. It’s “a pricey bet for the grocer and an illustration of its e-commerce ambitions.”

Kroger already did some field testing in the U.K. after they “struck a deal with British online grocer Ocado to build a network of customer fulfillment centers.” That’s where they picked up the nickname “sheds”

Kroger “has opened two sheds so far, with plans for at least nine more over the next two years.” Some of those will be right here at home. Florida, they say, “is ground zero.” They want galactic domination of the market.

They plotted out “a national strategy to become a more dominant e-commerce player.” Already, they shelled out “at least $55 million just on construction” of Florida shed alone. They already boosted the local economy.

As they get the project rolling, Kroger “has hired 900 employees and counting across the state.” They plan to use the operation as a model “to break into new markets and take on grocery rivals, including entrenched regional players like Florida-based Publix and retail behemoths like Amazon and Walmart.” That won’t be easy.

They know they have to fight for basic survival in a cut-throat industry. The “grocer must not only prove the sheds can power a large, profitable e-commerce business in a notoriously low-margin industry, it must also win over customers in a brand-new market where some may not even know its name. It may be the largest supermarket operator in the country, but in the state, Kroger is the newcomer and, at least initially, the underdog.”

If they can hire enough vaccinated truck drivers they’ll have “a fleet of delivery drivers that drop off online grocery orders at people’s doors.” Not everyone’s doors, they admit, just those who live on paved roads.

Watch it here: Southeast Produce Weekly/Youtube

Sources: Trendingrightwing, CNBC

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